Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor
Given the torture he endured last night, it must be difficult for dos Santos to come up with any positives.
On reflection, though, there were some clear improvements from the second fight.
While the result may have been even more decisive this time around, we can probably attribute it to the leaps Velasquez has made in his own game.
The Brazilian has always possessed terrific takedown defence, but he came unstuck against Velasquez at UFC 155, conceding close to a dozen takedowns.
He has clearly made significant strides in his defensive wrestling over the past 10 months, as he repeatedly stuffed the champion’s takedown attempts even while he appeared to be out on his feet.
Similar improvements could be seen in dos Santos’ gas tank.
The Brazilian was breathing heavily midway through the first round of the pair’s second encounter.
Despite absorbing a hellacious beating, he looked much fresher going into the later rounds last night and seemed to retain significant pop on his strikes well into the fourth round.
These improvements didn’t save dos Santos in the end, but you know what they say about clouds and silver linings.